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Boom–bust cycle, asymmetrical fiscal response and the Dutch disease


  • Arezki, Rabah
  • Ismail, Kareem


This paper investigates the changes in expenditure policy in oil-exporting countries during boom–bust in commodity price cycles, and their implications for real exchange rate movements. To do so, we introduce a Dutch disease model with downward rigidities in government spending to revenue shocks. This model leads to a decoupling between real exchange rate and commodity export price movement during busts. We test our model's theoretical predictions and underlying assumptions using panel data for 32 oil-exporting countries over the period 1992 to 2009. Results are threefold. First, we find that changes in current spending have a stronger impact on real exchange rate compared to capital spending. Second, we find that current spending is downwardly sticky, but increases in boom time, and conversely for capital spending. Third, we find limited evidence that fiscal rules have helped reduce the degree of responsiveness of current spending during booms. In contrast, we find evidence that fiscal rules are associated with a significant reduction in capital expenditure during busts while responsiveness to booms is more muted. This raises concerns on potential adverse consequences of this asymmetry on economic performance in oil-exporting countries.

Suggested Citation

  • Arezki, Rabah & Ismail, Kareem, 2013. "Boom–bust cycle, asymmetrical fiscal response and the Dutch disease," Journal of Development Economics, Elsevier, vol. 101(C), pages 256-267.
  • Handle: RePEc:eee:deveco:v:101:y:2013:i:c:p:256-267 DOI: 10.1016/j.jdeveco.2012.11.007

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    References listed on IDEAS

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    More about this item


    Fiscal asymmetry; International trade; Dutch disease; Exhaustible resources;

    JEL classification:

    • C1 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Econometric and Statistical Methods and Methodology: General
    • C61 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Mathematical Methods; Programming Models; Mathematical and Simulation Modeling - - - Optimization Techniques; Programming Models; Dynamic Analysis
    • C82 - Mathematical and Quantitative Methods - - Data Collection and Data Estimation Methodology; Computer Programs - - - Methodology for Collecting, Estimating, and Organizing Macroeconomic Data; Data Access
    • F41 - International Economics - - Macroeconomic Aspects of International Trade and Finance - - - Open Economy Macroeconomics
    • O11 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Economic Development - - - Macroeconomic Analyses of Economic Development
    • O24 - Economic Development, Innovation, Technological Change, and Growth - - Development Planning and Policy - - - Trade Policy; Factor Movement; Foreign Exchange Policy
    • P28 - Economic Systems - - Socialist Systems and Transition Economies - - - Natural Resources; Environment
    • Q30 - Agricultural and Natural Resource Economics; Environmental and Ecological Economics - - Nonrenewable Resources and Conservation - - - General


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